Inside BeatStep: $99 Step Sequencer and Controller Looks Compact, Versatile [Q+A, Videos]

Every new season brings new music tools. Some of these designs, of course, are splashy and grab headlines. Some just look like no-brainers that will see heavy use in your work. Arturia’s BeatStep stood out at the recent NAMM trade show as just an insanely-great use of a hundred bucks, in a tiny box that sort of does everything you’d want. It’s a pad controller. But it’s also a step sequencer. It connects to your computer via USB. But it also does analog CV and MIDI (via breakouts) when your computer isn’t around. It works as a controller. It works …

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Reconnect with Electronic Music’s Revolutionary Roots, in Stunning Images [Gallery, Videos]

“On a western device, you push a button and get a result. On a Soviet instrument, you push a button and get something.” -Benzo When music was first electrified, it was nothing short of a revolution – literally. And as today’s technologies again attempt to fuse human and machine, there’s no better time to connect with past visions again. “Discontinuity” is the theme of the this year’s CTM Festival in Berlin. But it sets the stage for an unprecedented movement to put today’s machines back in context, across the barriers of time, and – increasingly, in a closer European/west Asian …

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Review: MTRX-8, The Hardware Sequencer You Can Reprogram

The standalone MIDI hardware sequencer has had formidable competition in the age of the computer. But it seems ready to make a comeback in a big way. With more hardware, more affordable hardware, and more fans, all-in-one tactile control is just what the doctor ordered. Of course, having used a computer, you’re less likely to be accommodating of inflexibility. That’s why the MTRX-8 from Fyrd Instruments shows real promise. It works as a standalone sequencer, true, with MIDI in and out ports. But it also coincides nicely with a computer – from programmability over USB to doubling as a MIDI …

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Ryoji Ikeda’s The Radar Transforms the Architectural Circles of Fondation Vasarely in France

If projection mapping often seems superficial, tacked onto architecture as afterthought, Ryoji Ikeda finds the perfect site for his art in the row of circles at Fondation Vasarly, Aix-en-Provence. There, as noise and beeps coolly hum away, a feed of sonic information flowing like a river, circle and square seem not just convenient geometry but genuine signifier. From moments of sublime abstraction, they become discs of data, portals into a microscope and then a telescope, distant worlds and mapped moons and weather patterns and oscilloscopes. There isn’t a distinction between the architecture and the content: the architecture becomes content. For …

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Ryoji Ikeda's The Radar Transforms the Architectural Circles of Fondation Vasarely in France

If projection mapping often seems superficial, tacked onto architecture as afterthought, Ryoji Ikeda finds the perfect site for his art in the row of circles at Fondation Vasarly, Aix-en-Provence. There, as noise and beeps coolly hum away, a feed of sonic information flowing like a river, circle and square seem not just convenient geometry but genuine signifier. From moments of sublime abstraction, they become discs of data, portals into a microscope and then a telescope, distant worlds and mapped moons and weather patterns and oscilloscopes. There isn’t a distinction between the architecture and the content: the architecture becomes content. For …

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City of Light: A Sparkly, Geometric Wonderland at Barneys, by Joanie Lemercier, All-Star Team

No wooden gingerbread houses and fake snow here. Visualist Joanie Lemercier teamed up with a dream team of artists to transform New York’s Barneys into a shining future fantasy. In Light Fragments, the city that never sleeps hosted the electronic artist from the City of Light, along with some very fine friends. The audiovisual installation took over Barneys’ show windows and a pop-up gallery. In “City,” paper, projection mapping, and 3D animation became an imagined skyline, teaming Joanie with artist Davy McGuire. “Quartz,” with digital rockstar Kyle McDonald, produced a parametric crystalline structure that refracts light into constellations of glowing …

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10 Great Releases From 2013 You Might Have Missed

Happiness is a list of new SoundCloud links to follow, records to go buy, artist names and sounds that are new – not the reappearance of repeated artists and musicians, usual suspects, and expected names, but something to actually discover. So, we’re grateful to CDM contributor Matt Earp, aka Kid Kameleon, for his selecting talents. Grab the headphones. -Ed. Top 10 lists are played out. Deconstructing what’s bad about Top 10 lists is ALSO played out. And people who make Top 10 lists miss a lot of music for all kinds of reasons – because an album isn’t in a …

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GRID: Kinetic Lighting, in Massive Array, Form Audiovisual Masterpiece [Bauder + Henke]

GRID – teaser from TETRO on Vimeo. Christopher Bauder (White Void) has built a rich body of work developing the medium of kinetic lighting, sending aloft lit orbs and balloons, in dazzling arrays of moving objects. And some of the best collaborations have been with master electronic composer Robert Henke, not only synchronizing sound but aligning process and pattern in each. GRID, the latest Bauder/Henke work, takes the scale of these investigation to a new peak. Some 150 light bars, each of them a custom-built LED fixture, are hung in a triangular grid and are suspended by motorized winches. Using …

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Learn Max for Live and Control Ableton: Exclusive Book Excerpt Download and Discount

Max for Live represented an important milestone in music making software. It paired one of the most popular music production tools, and easily the most popular real-time workflow, with one of the most popular tools for users wanting to realizing their own musical software ideas. Max for Live, as a result, can become a window into making Ableton Live your own. Of course, figuring out how to begin doing that can be a daunting task. For many Live users, it ends somewhere around downloading some neat patches someone else has made. What do you do when you want to attack …

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1024 Architecture Tesseract is a Dazzling Hypercube of Light; Gallery, Behind the Scenes

1024 Architecture have already made rectangles sexy, in light, mappings, and stage environments. Now, they’ve gone all fourth-dimensional on us – and the results are stunning. They give us a look behind the scenes at this project, and how they’ve used Ableton Live and Quartz Composer to realize it. You can even use their QC patches in your own projects, if you think you can add more nth dimensions. (For the record, a tesseract is a specific hypercube – a 4-dimensional shape, of the class of n-dimensional hypercubes. It’s also a cool reference to the science fiction of Madeleine L’Engel. …

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